Following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series events returned in San Jose over the weekend commemorating one of northern California’s most celebrated running events.
This weekend’s event marked the 15th edition of the United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series San Jose, a musically-themed running event bursting with San Jose spirit. Nearly 6,000 eager Rock ‘n’ Rollers ages 6 to 83 took on the flat and fast course through streets lined with cheer squads, local bands and entertainment from start to finish. Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series San Jose Half Marathon, Laura Thweatt (Superior, Colo.) and Matt Baxter (Flagstaff, Ariz.) were crowned champions.
Nicknamed Speed City for the performance of Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and Jon Carlos and the legendary San Jose State track team in the 1960s, the 15th edition of San Jose’s biggest running block party continued the legacy of speed in this city.
Half marathon runners and walkers received a running tour of Santa Clara Valley that started on Market Street, ran past SAP Center, through the Rose Garden District and highlighted downtown San Jose before finishing at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park, all backed by the scenic Diablo and Santa Cruz Mountain ranges.
In the half marathon race, Matt Baxter (Flagstaff, Ariz.) came home victorious for the men clocking a time of 1:02:38. Steven Martinez (San Diego, Calif.) was second with a time of 1:04:39 and Mark Huizar (La Puente, Calif.) followed in third place finishing in 1:05:58. Laura Thweatt (Superior, Colo.) was the women’s champion with a final time of 1:10:25 with Katja Goldring (Flagstaff, Ariz.) behind finishing in second with finishing time of 1:12:20 and Elizabeth Lagoy (Salt Lake City, Utah) rounding out the podium in 1:18:16.
Elite runners and fast times aside, Sunday’s race was all about the party atmosphere. Several local bands, including John Vicino, Mariachi Estelar, DJ Warren, Undercover, Nothin but Fun, Sweet HayaH, DJ Beno, Chubby’s All Stars, Rockin’ Blues Express, and Vital Sign & Bootleg performed live on band stages along the route interspersed with cheerleaders and crowd support. The party wasn’t only on course – DJ Johnny and the Math Class Band entertained participants at the Health & Fitness Expo while the Super Soul Bros closed out the show as the Encore Entertainment.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series will return to San Jose on October 8-9, 2022